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Sunnybrook Plans Heritage Days

Sunnybrook Ballroom was home to the sound of Big Bands.

Sunnybrook Ballroom next year hopes to host Lower Pottsgrove's first annual Heritage Days event.

SANATOGA PA – Pottstown Borough has them, every June in Memorial Park. Exeter Township has them, too, at the historic Daniel Boone Homestead during August. And Lower Pottsrove may also hold its own series of “Heritage Days,” beginning in 2009 at Sunnybrook Ballroom.

The township’s Parks and Recreation Commission is working with the Sunnybrook Foundation to create what foundation President Tom Sephakis calls a “community-type event” he hopes will serve as an annual tourist draw. “We think Sunnybrook is the ideal place to do it,” he says, “and we’re looking to grow it from sason to season.”

Exactly what form Heritage Days takes – its theme, its length, its activities, and how it gets paid for – all are part of discussions between the commission and the foundation that began several months ago. Commission member and former township Board of Commissioners‘ President Tom Troutman has been named by Parks and Recreation to keep township elected officials informed of the progress.

Sunnybrook closes the current year with a string of successes, according to Sephakis. About 70 events were held in the facility at 50 Sunnybrook Rd. during 2008, and more are planned for the next 12 months. They include several events attracted to Sunnybrook from other local venues, and others appearing in the area for their first time.

Sunnybrook’s cultivating its own events, too. Its 2008 Fall Festival was twice the size of the previous year’s event, Sephakis says, with a greater number of vendors and aout 4,000 people in attendance. But as it matures and Heritage Days launches, the foundation expects to need help. “It’s not a big budget we’re asking for,” Sephakis cautions. Instead, he adds, “we’re looking for some cooperation from the township.”

Extra police assistance likely will be required for Heritage Days’ traffic and crowd control, he says. Fire companies may be asked to string welcoming banners across major roadways. Parking accommodations may be required for the participation of schools and churches and their volunteers. All may be minor in comparison to the benefit: “something that brings more trade to our businesses,” Sephakis told the Board of Commissioners during its Dec. 1 meeting.

Heritage Days could be “great for the community,” board President Bruce Foltz responded, and promised, “we’ll be well behind it.”

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